Local traditions and culture in Tallinn County

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    by jckim
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Most Viewed Local Customs in Tallinn County

  • Perugia's Profile Photo

    Average citizen of Tallinn...

    by Perugia Updated Dec 8, 2003

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    Average citizen of Tallinn lives in such gray house. It is a sleeping district named Lasnam?e. It is really off the beaten path for most tourists, but people live here. There are three such hilly districts in Tallinn (Mustam?e and ?iesm?e). We say hilly because 'm?gi' at the end of their names means 'mountain'.

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    Estonian language

    by LysDor Updated Nov 13, 2003

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    Estonian language is belonging to the fenno-ugrian languages and its closest relative is finnish language.

    Despite the very close relationship, estonian language is older than finnish language and maybe that is why there are many words and expressions which can lead to misunderstanding!

    Here are some examples (... and laughing is permitted here actually HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!) :
    ...................................................................
    est-eng // fin-eng
    ...................................................................
    Halb = Bad // Halpa = Inexpensive
    Piim = Milk // Piimä = Sour milk
    Hakata = To begin // Hakata = To hit
    Sõita = To travel // Soittaa = To ring, to phone
    Helistada = To ring, to phone // Helistää = To jingle, to rattle
    Suitsetada = To smoke // Suitsuttaa = To burn incense
    Tumm = Dump // Tumma = Dark
    Hallitus = Mould // Hallitus = Government
    Pulmad = Weddings // Pulmat = Problems
    Sulane = Hired-hand // Sulhanen = Bridegroom
    Ämm = Mother in law // Ämmä = Hag; old woman
    Äi Father in law // Äijä = Old man
    Vaim = Spirit, soul // Vaimo = Wife
    Emand = Old lady // Emäntä = Hostess
    Surra = To die // Surra = To grieve
    Puss = Knife // Pussi; Pusu = Bag; Kiss
    Eesmärk = Goal // Esimerkki = Example
    Lõuna = South // Lounas = South-West or lunch
    Edel = South-West // Etelä = South
    Ruumide koristamine = Cleaning rooms // Ruumiden koristaminen = Decorating corpses


    For more info CHECK Tallinn's official site

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  • SirRichard's Profile Photo

    Soviet heritage

    by SirRichard Written Jun 9, 2003

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    I was there just 2 years after Estonia's independence. At the streets you could still see many signs written in cyrillic and in the modern town there were many remains of the "sovietic architecture". But the people seemed to not like very much all that sovietic heritage they had left behind. They tended to look much more to the west than to the east...

    a russian sign at the left

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  • diamond7's Profile Photo

    The flag

    by diamond7 Updated Mar 17, 2003

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    This is the Estonian Flag. These colours means:
    * Blue stands for faith and loyalty, the sea, lakes, and the sky.
    * Black represents past suffering and is the colour of the traditional peasant's jacket.
    * White symbolizes virtue and enlightenment and is the colour of snow, birch bark, and the midnight sun.

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  • viki's Profile Photo

    It's more technical tip -...

    by viki Updated Feb 21, 2003

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    It's more technical tip - there are many places in Tallinn and all over Estonia you can use wireless internet free of charge. You need to have your own hardware or course.
    One of those places is in the center on the old city, cityhall square.
    Another places: Hotel Radisson SAS, Olympia, Central.
    Pubs: Cafe VS, Seiklusjutte Maalt ja Merelt.
    Coca Cola Plaza - pubs in this cinema etc
    More about it:
    www.wifi.ee

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  • TheaIren's Profile Photo

    Exchanging Your Money in...

    by TheaIren Written Sep 8, 2002

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    Exchanging Your Money in citycentre !
    Monex, at Viru Street 20; Open 10.00-18.00
    Hansapank, Viru Streer 4; Open 10.00-18.00 Cl.Sat,Sun
    Tavid, Aia Street 5; 09.00-19.00, Sat. 09.00-17.00
    Krediidpank, Narva mnt.4; Open 09.00-18.00; Cl.Sat

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  • Kiisu's Profile Photo

    Estonian Nationalism

    by Kiisu Updated Sep 2, 2002

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    Although there are some impressive Russian churches, monuments, etc. in Estonia, please realize most ethnic Estonians won't appreciate your overly-enthusiatic admiration of these structures (and what they represent). No need to commit a faux pas with any new-found Estonian friends!

    Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Tallinn

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  • queensali's Profile Photo

    Language and CultureThe...

    by queensali Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Language and Culture
    The Estonian language belongs to the Finno-Ugric family of languages, closely related to Finnish and more distantly related to Hungarian. It is among the most difficult languages in Europe, with fourteen cases for the declension of nouns and complicated rules for their use. There are no articles, however, nor any grammatical gender in Estonian. Indeed, the same word is used for both 'he' and 'she': tema . Over the years, the language has been standardized, but many dialects and accents remain, especially on the islands. Most of the foreign words used by Estonians come from German. Russian, Finnish, and English also have influenced Estonian, especially in the formation of slang.

    Estonian culture developed in earnest during the nineteenth-century period of national awakening. Elements of Estonian peasant culture, such as songs and folktales, were brought together by the country's first cultural elite after 1850. Between 1857 and 1861, Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald compiled and published the Estonian national epic, Kalevipoeg (Son of Kalev), which was based on various folklore themes. Written in verse, the epic tells the story of Kalevipoeg, the mythical ancient ruler of Estonia. Another achievement of this period was the establishment of Estonia's first regularly published Estonian-language newspaper, Perno Postimees , originally published in P‰rnu by Johann Voldemar Jannsen in 1857. In 1878 Carl Robert Jakobson established the newspaper Sakala , which would soon become a major promoter of the cultural renaissance. Jakob Hurt, a schoolteacher and Lutheran minister, organized a collection of folk songs in the 1880s and gave several speeches extolling the value of Estonian culture.

    The national literature had an earlier beginning, in the 1810s, with the patriotic poetry of Kristjan Jaak Peterson. In the second half of the nineteenth century, romanticism and love of country found equal expression in the poetry of Lydia Koidula, Estonia's first woman poet and a key figure of the cultural awakening. The first Estonian song festival was organized in 1869 in Tartu, attracting some 800 participants and about 4,000 spectators. This event would become a major tradition in Estonian cultural life and was held roughly every five years. At the end of the nineteenth century, Estonian theater also got its beginnings in Tartu with the formation of the Vanemuine theater group.

    During the first independence period, Estonian culture thrived. During 1926-33 writer Anton Hansen Tammsaare published his five-volume epic novel, Tide ja ’igus (Truth and Justice), which covered the period 1870-1930. Lyrical poetry grew with the works of Marie Under, Henrik Visnapuu, and Betti Alver. In 1919 the Pallas art school was founded in Tartu, giving rise and expression to several new artistic currents. Architecture became a new mode of expression for Estonians as the first architects were educated in Tallinn. Their works came to include the parliament building on Toompea Hill and several functionalist buildings in the resort town of P‰rnu. The Estonian Drama Theater was established in 1926, complementing the already existing Estonia Theater, which featured operettas and ballet. By 1940 Estonia had eleven professional or semiprofessional theaters.

    The return of the Red Army in 1944 after the German occupation caused much of Estonia's cultural elite to flee the country. Many writers and poets settled in Sweden, where they continued to issue works through their own publishing cooperative. Under Stalin, Estonian culture was subordinated to the propagandistic needs of the regime. In 1950, as the Estonian Communist Party was being purged, so too was Estonian culture. Many writers and artists were accused of 'formalism' (adherence to bourgeois standards) or nationalism and were dismissed or deported. It was only in the 1960s, during the thaw under Khrushchev, that Estonian culture regained vibrancy, the result of increased foreign contacts and the arrival on the scene of a new generation of writers, artists, composers, and poets. The last category included Paul-Eerik Rummo (appointed minister of culture in 1992), Jaan Kaplinski (elected a member of parliament in 1992), and Hando Runnel. Novelist Jaan Kross made his debut during this period as a writer of historical works; his 1978 book, The Czar's Madman , was published in English in 1993 to critical acclaim. Graphic art became popular in Estonia during the 1960s, as did abstractionism among painters. The Estonian music scene saw the coming of age of Arvo P‰rt, who would emigrate in 1980 to West Germany; Veljo Tormis, a composer drawing on themes from Finno-Ugric folk music; and Neeme J‰rvi, who emigrated in 1980 and later became director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Song festivals still were held continuously, often providing a popular outlet for national feeling. In the place of the banned national anthem, the song My Fatherland Is My Love , based on a poem by Lydia Koidula and music by composer and conductor Gustav Ernesaks, became Estonians' de facto an-them.

    During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Estonian culture again felt some of the cold drafts of official control, but by 1986 the influence of glasnost began to stir cultural activity anew, this time far into the realm of politics. One of the first groups to mobilize in 1987 was the Estonian Heritage Society, which led volunteer projects to restore many of Estonia's cultural landmarks. At a 1986 writers' conference, the first complaints were publicly aired about censorship and Russification. In the main literary publications--Sirp ja Vasar , Vikerkaar , and Looming --an unprecedented number of articles began to appear dealing with hitherto banned topics. In April 1988, during a two-day public forum, nearly fifty of Estonia's most prominent cultural figures met to voice their concerns about the state of Estonia's culture, language, and people. Open criticism was leveled against the old-guard party leadership of Karl Vaino, and demands were made for real political reform. The forum was an awe-inspiring event for the hundreds of thousands of Estonians who listened on radio; yet it was only a prelude to the 'singing revolution' that would follow that summer.

    During the next several years, many of Estonia's artists, poets, and writers would become involved in politics. Thirteen cultural figures were elected to the Supreme Soviet in 1990, nearly twenty to the Riigikogu, the new legislature, in 1992. Culture suffered, however, because of economic decline. Paper shortages in 1990 and 1991 limited the number of books and literary journals that could be published. Art supplies, in high demand, often were available only in exchange for hard currency. Still, foreign contacts opened up completely with opportunities to view new creative works and to spread Estonian culture abroad. With independence again in hand, Estonia could look forward to another era of free cultural development in a common European home.

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  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    Olaf the Cathedral-builder:...

    by aliante1981 Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Olaf the Cathedral-builder: It's one of the old legends that was told me while I was on the 'Ghosts of Tallinn' excursion. Olaf was quite a strange person. He came into the town and asked a huge sum of money saying he would build a Cathedral. He promised later, however, to build it free of charge if the inhabitants manage to guess his name. Nothing could do the trick for the residents had it not been for a song that Olaf (being drunk) sang about himself. Olaf had already completed the Cathedral and was obviously counting money due to him when the inhabitants came and told nim his name. In distress he fell from 159meter-high tower of the Cathedral and from his mouth a snake and a frog emerged. The locals regarded him as a demon and... named the Cathedral after him.

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  • Yubert's Profile Photo

    The people of the Baltics seem...

    by Yubert Updated Aug 25, 2002

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    The people of the Baltics seem to be very friendly. Little kids would wave to us when our bus passed by. Others would offer advice when over-hearing our conversations.

    This colonel (I think that's his rank) and his assistant were in town to conduct some exercises with the US military. There were nice enough to answer our questions and pose for a picture.

    By coincidence, the US mililtary stayed in the same hotel I was at.

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  • kenbac's Profile Photo

    If you have a day to spare and...

    by kenbac Updated Aug 25, 2002

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    If you have a day to spare and you’ve never been to Helsinki, consider a day trip. It’s really quite near and the journey only takes 1 hr 35 mins, by jetfoil with Nordic Jet Line. I could be an ideal way to expand your travels and have a nice brief introduction to Helsinki.

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  • kenbac's Profile Photo

    When you get to Tallinn, pick...

    by kenbac Written Aug 25, 2002

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    When you get to Tallinn, pick up a copy of “Tallinn in your Pocket”. This is one of the “In Your Pocket” guides, which are currently covering a very large area of Eastern Europe. This is a guide you cannot be without. The cost is 19 EEK (£ Ir 1). You can read the entire guide, in advance of your trip at
    www.inyourpocket.com
    but still purchase it when you arrive, as you do really need to have it “In Your Pocket”
    Great to plan your next activity, while you have a coffee or beer.

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  • kenbac's Profile Photo

    ShoppingStockmannLiivalaia...

    by kenbac Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Shopping
    Stockmann
    Liivalaia 53
    Part of the Finnish company. Stockman in Tallinn is not up to the same size as Helsinki, but it’s pretty good. Large range of products and amazingly some items are about half the price or even less than in Helsinki.

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  • kenbac's Profile Photo

    Shopping. MerekeskusMere pst...

    by kenbac Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Shopping.
    Merekeskus
    Mere pst 10
    This is also an indoor market, only very much bigger and very busy. I’m no fashion expert but some of the names were very familiar to a person from Western Europe. Don’t know if the owners of the names know how well or how cheap “their” goods sell over here. Well it is Eastern Europe.

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  • Anya_D's Profile Photo

    Learn some Estonian

    by Anya_D Written Aug 24, 2002

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    I come from Russia. If you do not know what it means for Estonians, I will tell you: I am from a country which, as Estonians believe, came to Estonia in 1940 as an occupant. I was suprised to find the attitude to me better than I expected. However, the hotel staff pretended they did not speak Russian. I did not care: I spoke English. Many people speak Finnish: no wonder, it is closer than Russia, and the two languages (Finnish and Estonian) belong to the same group. There are many Russians living in Estonia, and you will hear Russian speaking as often as Estonian.

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Tallinn County Local Customs

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